Every time I visit the ‘Old Continent’, I try to go to various cities. Sometimes, I can only stay for few hours at one town. Trying to get to know everything I can, but at the same time, taking it slow and relax.
From Madrid, we took a flight to Geneva, Switzerland. Before traveling to Europe, because this time I was with my family I couldn’t improvise, I booked a hotel. Just by looking at the prices of the hotels, I knew Geneva was going to be very expensive.
We arrived in Genéve by 11am. After checking in at the hotel, which it was outside the old city, we took a taxi to go to Downtown. The taxi alone, it was about $60 for a short ride. Although, we knew -as in every other city, I believe- bus is a better and cheaper transportation. We took the bus from downtown to the hotel… much better!
Because of traffic and some construction going on, we had to get out of it and walk… and get lost. I was going to meet with an old very great friend of mine -from college – to have lunch. The map I had wasn’t helping us very much but my friend did through phone. Maybe I blame myself of being tired of the whole trip already, but then I found out it is very easy to get around the old city. Or we were hungry, because after lunch I figured out everything.
We went to a square, Place du Bourg-de-Four, where you’ll find few cafes and restaurants and a great ambience. I met with my friend I haven’t seen in years so she could take us to a restaurant nearby. Naturally, we had to try something typical and she was helping us with that. Although, we already knew we had to have ‘fondue’, we also had ‘Raclette’ a melted cheese so yummy with potato. It was summer and those meals are typical for the winter time… we didn’t mind! We always should try various local meals.
After some catching up with my friend and a delicious lunch, we visited St. Pierre Cathedral, which it was located few steps away from the restaurant. Around this area you will also find museums as Maison Tavel, City Hall and a very relaxing area to stroll at any time.
From there, we walked to Parc des Bastions where Le Mur de la Reformation and the old university are located. This park is very big and gorgeous. While getting to know it, walking and enjoying the nice weather, we saw a lot of people relaxing on the grass, reading books, playing with their kids and even an area to play chess with big pieces on the floor. Perfect area to relax after a long day!
On the other side, there is a square, Place Neuve, where you’ll find the Theater, Rath Museum, Conservatoire de musique de Genève (Music School) and the statue of General Henri Dufour. Right there, at the square, we took a touristic train that goes around the old city. While on that train, you get to hear lot of stories. Actually, we only took it to get back to the Cathedral, but it’s a nice option to do if visiting for a day. Once we were there, we walked to the Jardin Anglais passing by Rue de la Madeleine, Rue de la Croix-d’Or, Place Du where there are a lot of stores and cafes.
Strolling by its streets, we arrived to Jardin Anglais. First, we all know Switzerland because of the chocolates, cheeses and watches; so we needed to see the famous Flower Clock, located by the entrance of the park. While we were visiting, there were a festival going on and couldn’t enjoy the park as we wanted to. Instead, we enjoyed some music, tried some drinks, browsed for souvenirs and were happy with the view to the lake. For some reason, we weren’t that lucky because the famous Jet de l’eau (the fountain in the lake) wasn’t on. My friend told me she has never seen it off! We actually stayed for a while waiting if, by any chance, they would turn it on… nothing happened. Does that mean I need to go back to Geneva? 🙂 I think so…
—– UPDATE: I visited in 2012, where we enjoyed a festival that they celebrated in August “Fêtes de Genève”. This festival stopped in 2017. But since 2018 they still celebrate with fireworks. —–
We took a boat to cross the lake to the other side. We had to go to the train station to get our tickets for next day — We were traveling to Paris by train. By the way, there’s a small area we passed by on the train that the view was GORGEOUS (video) — From the same area, we took a bus back to the hotel. Much easier and cheaper, obviously!
By night, we just visited a mall by the hotel, to have a walk and grab some dinner. And well… I needed (meaning ‘wanted’) to visit H&M and other stores 🙂
Here’s the video about this city (click CC for subtitles):